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Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Drive Key Hallmarks of B Cell Malignancies.

  • Mangolini, Maurizio
  • Ringshausen, Ingo
Publication Date
Feb 21, 2020
Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository
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All B cell leukaemias and a substantial fraction of lymphomas display a natural niche residency in the bone marrow. While the bone marrow compartment may only be one of several sites of disease manifestations, the strong clinical significance of minimal residual disease (MRD) in the bone marrow strongly suggests that privileged niches exist in this anatomical site favouring central elements of malignant transformation. Here, the co-existence of two hierarchical systems, originating from haematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, has extensively been characterised with regard to regulation of the former (blood production) by the latter. How these two systems cooperate under pathological conditions is far less understood and is the focus of many current investigations. More recent single-cell sequencing techniques have now identified an unappreciated cellular heterogeneity of the bone marrow microenvironment. How each of these cell subtypes interact with each other and regulate normal and malignant haematopoiesis remains to be investigated. Here we review the evidences of how bone marrow stroma cells and malignant B cells reciprocally interact. Evidently from published data, these cell-cell interactions induce profound changes in signalling, gene expression and metabolic adaptations. While the past research has largely focussed on understanding changes imposed by stroma- on tumour cells, it is now clear that tumour-cell contact also has fundamental ramifications for the biology of stroma cells. Their careful characterisations are not only interesting from a scientific biological viewpoint but also relevant to clinical practice: Since tumour cells heavily depend on stroma cells for cell survival, proliferation and dissemination, interference with bone marrow stroma-tumour interactions bear therapeutic potential. The molecular characterisation of tumour-stroma interactions can identify new vulnerabilities, which could be therapeutically exploited.

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